Fans of the America’s Next Top Model series may find this week’s #HisStyleSnaps guy very familiar. Chris Hernandez, a finalist in the 20th cycle, is no stranger to high fashion and style. Scouted directly by Tyra, who flew from California to New York to give him a “golden ticket” through to the semifinals, Chris’ bright promise of a career has indeed been fulfilled. Modelling now with stellar brands and popular photographers like Tommy Hilfiger and Blather Corfi in the Big Apple, the New Jersey native is also dabbling in the business of acting, travelling coast to coast all the time for work.
We speak to him about his personal style away from the camera, best moments of his America’s Next Top Model journey, as well as an unorthodox way to use lip balm…
HIS STYLE DIARY: How did you get onto America’s Next Top Model?
CHRIS HERNANDEZ: I was scouted directly by Tyra Banks. She flew from Califorina all the way to New York and gave me the “Golden Ticket” and hence my new nickname- “The Golden Boy”. This was the first time ever Tyra Banks ever met a contestant before they even made it into the house. The “Golden Ticket” is a free automatic pass to the semi finals in California.
HSD: What was the experience like, being on ANTM? What are some of your favourite memories (or worst)?
CH: The best moment had to be landing a spot in the house, you can’t imagine how good that felt! It was also pretty cool getting to go overseas, and of course, I never minded getting best photo 😉
HSD: What is something you learnt on the show that has become most useful in your career?
CH: I learned a ton about posing, angles, and creating shapes with my body. The feedback Tyra provided on shoots was incredibly valuable.
HSD: Seeing that you are in the fashion industry, which are the brands you’ve loved working for the most?
CH: I loved working for Guess and Tommy Hilfiger! Definitely unforgettable – but there’s way more big stuff coming up soon – just stay tuned!
HSD: What is the best part about being a model, and what is the hardest?
CH: It’s amazing waking up every day and getting to do what I love. You never know what the day will hold, every day is a new adventure. That can also be the hardest part as well – never knowing what’s next, not being able to plan ahead.
HSD: Did you always want to be a model? What plans did you have before becoming a model, or becoming an ANTM contestant?
CH: Modeling has been a passion of mine for years; however, before I dived into my modelling career, I worked for a bank. Let’s just say that was not the career for me.
HSD: Do you have a dream brand, photographer, stylist, or designer you’ve always wanted to work for? Have you done it already?
CH: I can’t wait to land a Calvin Klein billboard one day. I would also love to shoot with Mario Testino. Then again, who wouldn’t!
HSD: How would you define “personal style”?
CH: I don’t think you can define personal style. I think that’s something that’s different for everyone based on their own fashion sense and what makes them happy.
HSD: Tell us what your personal style is. What does Chris Hernandez look like outside of magazine pages and TV shows?
CH: I’d say casual, but fashionable. I definitely like to look good; you never know who you are going to run into on the streets of NYC. I still like to be comfortable though.
HSD: If you can only wear one fashion brand for the whole of next year, which would it be?
CH: Hugo Boss!
HSD: What’s one brand you absolutely cannot stand?
CH: There are no brands that I particularly dislike, I appreciate everyone’s creativity. However, I doubt you’ll find me in Uggs or Crocs in the near future.
HSD: Androgyny is now a major runway trend. What’s your take on it? Do you like it? Would you wear it?
CH: I definitely appreciate the concept and artistry behind it. I support equality and think it’s pretty cool for men and women to be able to connect through fashion.
HSD: Models are often being styled by the brands they work for. Do you like dressing up in your off-time, or is it like “I’ve had enough of it for work!”?
CH: I can’t lie- I definitely love to dress up. Hey, when you look good, you feel good!
HSD: Do you have some pet peeves when it comes to dressing up?
CH: If people want to be creative and do their own thing – I say go for it. I don’t judge!!
HSD: Tell us one menswear trend you love, and one menswear trend you absolutely detest. And of course, tell us your reasons!
CH: Looks like fur is making a comeback – can’t say I’ll be rocking any mink in the near future. I am pretty excited that the rollneck is in though; I definitely look good in a turtle neck 😉
HSD: What was the very first piece of “luxury” fashion you bought?
CH: Oh, wow. Definitely have to think back for that one. I think it was an Armani suit when I was 18. Pretty sure I thought that was the definition of status and luxury at the time.
HSD: Who are some stylish people you admire? Why them?
CH: If I say Anna Wintour, is that a cop out?
HSD: If I looked into your bag, what will be one thing that surprises me?
CH: BOOKS! I always have tons of books on me. You’ll catch me reading in between castings.
HSD: Some men love shoes, some love bags. What’s your poison?
HSD: Tell us where a stylish man would go on the weekends, in the city you come from.
CH: New York is such a melting pot, that’s hard. You’ll definitely find the younger crowd mingling in high end meatpacking restaurants and sauntering over to lounges on the later side. I’m a wine bar guy myself.
HSD: Are you into facial hair? Why, or why not?
CH: Yes, but this is definitely a sensitive subject, I can’t grow a full beard!
HSD: What’s your favourite fragrance, and why?
CH: Right now I’m back and forth between Gucci and Versace. Both get the girls 😉
HSD: Your face is your moneymaker. What do you do to keep it looking good?
CH: Wouldn’t you like to know… just kidding! I really don’t do too much out of the ordinary. A big thing for my skin is my diet. No pizza or chocolate.
HSD: Can you share a style tip with our readers?
CH: Put chapstick on your eyebrows… I know it sounds weird, but it looks GREAT.